Cheap oil.

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
User avatar
Sweep
Posts: 8435
Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 4:57pm
Location: London

Re: Cheap oil.

Post by Sweep »

I used to find the Wilco stuff fine - the slightly more expensive one. Used to be about £2.99/maybe £3.99?
Always had the idea that it was essentially the weldtite stuff.
No longer available from the sadly departed Wilco/wilkinsons though.
Interested to learn about alternative sources.
Sweep
Pebble
Posts: 1914
Joined: 7 Jun 2020, 11:59pm

Re: Cheap oil.

Post by Pebble »

All I'm saying is use the right tool for the job. Doesn't have to cost loads.
Is one single grade of oil suitable for the entire life of a chain at all times of the year?

the premium specific chain oils are probably designed for newish chains 0 - 0.25% wear, would they still be the correct oil for 0.75 to 1% let alone the 2% that I take chains out to.

I don't know what grade premium bicycle chain oils are ? but they are probably too thin for a semi worn chain and useless for super worn. Then what is good on warm summerdays could be too thick for below freezing winter days.

for a 7 speed like mine chains are cheap, I think the last batch I bought was 6.99 each (potentially 0.3p / mile) so not worth getting too carried away about! But then I find these engineering type things interesting

SAE 30 engine oil I have in abundance and does the job reasonably well all year, As for long wet winter days on a worn chain , then chainsaw oil will feel and sound better. (it doesn't seem to wash off as easily)
User avatar
853
Posts: 252
Joined: 23 Sep 2022, 6:01pm

Re: Cheap oil.

Post by 853 »

rareposter wrote: 31 Jan 2024, 7:38pm Thing is, if you have a top end bike, and/or you're racing at a decent level pretty regularly, those kind of things can make a significant difference.

For most people - especially people on £200 "mountain bikes" or basic utility bikes - of course it'd be a complete waste of money but if you're riding a bike with a drivetrain that cost 5x the price of an average basic bike, having a top end chain and keeping the whole lot spotless makes good sense. Either you can save a couple of £ on the cost of some lube and then replace the drivetrain 2000km sooner or you can buy decent proper chain lube, maintain it and get an extra 2000km out of it. When you put it like that, it's good economic sense to buy the right stuff for the job. And to a certain extent, that's what you're accepting when you buy a top-end bike - the fact that if you break a wheel it'll be £1000 to fix it, not £40; when you wear out the chain and cassette it'll be £400 to replace them, not £30.

For the folk that spend £7 on a chain every 3 years when they finally get around to taking the bike to a shop cos it's creaking then yes, they could lube the chain with baby oil for all the difference it'd make in the grand scheme of things and they won't notice either way.

That said, for the "average enthusiast cyclist" there's still a middle ground where £10 on a bottle of proper lube that'll last a year or more and some basic maintenance along the lines of "wipe chain, dribble lube on it" (grand total, 3 minutes) still makes more sense than trying to get all creative with engine oil (which is formulated to run at high temperatures in a closed system), vegetable oil (which is quite acidic and very unstable) or sewing machine oil (which is too thin to provide any sort of protection on a bike chain).

All I'm saying is use the right tool for the job. Doesn't have to cost loads.

The tests don't agree with you. Here is the test chart from CeramicSpeed, and at the low-friction end of the scale you will notice 5W-20, better known as cheap and readily available engine oil. Lots of bike-specific products come out worse in the tests.

Chain friction from Ceramicspeed.jpg

https://ceramicspeed.com/en-eu/pages/ch ... eDomain=GB
rjb
Posts: 7152
Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 10:25am
Location: Somerset (originally 60/70's Plymouth)

Re: Cheap oil.

Post by rjb »

Following Mike Burrows ( of lotus bikes fame) I tried his chain lubing method using ep90. Quite successful but could be very dirty. Nowadays I prefer a cleaner method so stick to waxing chains in a slow cooker.
At the last count:- Peugeot 531 pro, Dawes Discovery Tandem, Dawes Kingpin X3, Raleigh 20 stowaway, 1965 Moulton deluxe, Falcon K2 MTB dropped bar tourer, Rudge Bi frame folder, Longstaff trike conversion on a Giant XTC 840 :D
Nearholmer
Posts: 3809
Joined: 26 Mar 2022, 7:13am

Re: Cheap oil.

Post by Nearholmer »

Here is the test chart

What is that a chart of?

It might be “immediately after application” or “after sustained use over a long period in dry, low dust conditions”, or a host of other things.
scottg
Posts: 1215
Joined: 10 Jan 2008, 8:44pm
Location: Highland Heights Kentucky,, USA

Re: Cheap oil.

Post by scottg »

Back when the English built bicycles, there was the Sunbeam Golden Arrow.
It had an enclosed chain case, the chain ran thru an oil bath.
The chain didn't get dirty, and the oil bath meant the chain would
still be good for your grand children. :)

The oil was probably made from whales. :)

https://sunbeammuseum.wordpress.com/wel ... le-museum/
+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-AG
+++++++++++++++++++++++++
esasjl
Posts: 55
Joined: 18 Feb 2021, 9:02pm

Re: Cheap oil.

Post by esasjl »

rjb wrote: 1 Feb 2024, 2:04pm Following Mike Burrows ( of lotus bikes fame) I tried his chain lubing method using ep90.
I'm still trying to use up some Castrol EP80 from the 70s, mix 50:50 with white spirit and wipe off the excess.
rareposter
Posts: 1914
Joined: 27 Aug 2014, 2:40pm

Re: Cheap oil.

Post by rareposter »

Recent video from GCN Tech interviewing Zero Friction Cycling

https://youtu.be/pu2cdw76eUE?si=4TvG-IjH00f2Ykqx

Interesting point about value for money and how a more expensive product on the shop floor can actually be far better value for money because it's better / lasts longer etc than a nominally cheaper product that doesn't work as well or which you need to use far more of or use more often.
User avatar
Sweep
Posts: 8435
Joined: 20 Oct 2011, 4:57pm
Location: London

Re: Cheap oil.

Post by Sweep »

rareposter wrote: 12 Feb 2024, 12:02pm Recent video from GCN Tech interviewing Zero Friction Cycling

https://youtu.be/pu2cdw76eUE?si=4TvG-IjH00f2Ykqx

Interesting point about value for money and how a more expensive product on the shop floor can actually be far better value for money because it's better / lasts longer etc than a nominally cheaper product that doesn't work as well or which you need to use far more of or use more often.
you are nanette newman and I claim my squeezy bottle.
Sweep
Ron
Posts: 1380
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 9:07pm

Re: Cheap oil.

Post by Ron »

Sweep wrote: 12 Feb 2024, 1:27pmyou are nanette newman and I claim my squeezy bottle.
I think it would not be unreasonable of me to ask for an explanation of your post, speaking for the under 60s in the audience :) .
User avatar
Sum
Posts: 320
Joined: 17 Jul 2010, 9:13am

Re: Cheap oil.

Post by Sum »

Ron wrote: 12 Feb 2024, 1:55pm
Sweep wrote: 12 Feb 2024, 1:27pmyou are nanette newman and I claim my squeezy bottle.
I think it would not be unreasonable of me to ask for an explanation of your post, speaking for the under 60s in the audience :) .
Fairy Liquid advert from 1985, starring Nanette Newman:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58_2jcLnSsI
briansnail
Posts: 795
Joined: 1 Sep 2019, 3:07pm

Re: Cheap oil.

Post by briansnail »

The tests don't agree with you. Here is the test chart from CeramicSpeed, and at the low-friction end of the scale you will notice 5W-20, better known as cheap and readily available engine oil. Lots of bike-specific products come out worse in the tests.
Are the more expensive cycle oils mineral or synthetic?
rareposter
Posts: 1914
Joined: 27 Aug 2014, 2:40pm

Re: Cheap oil.

Post by rareposter »

Ron wrote: 12 Feb 2024, 1:55pm
Sweep wrote: 12 Feb 2024, 1:27pmyou are nanette newman and I claim my squeezy bottle.
I think it would not be unreasonable of me to ask for an explanation of your post, speaking for the under 60s in the audience :) .
It's OK, I didn't get the reference either!
cyclop
Posts: 953
Joined: 3 Oct 2013, 7:49am
Location: Dumfriesshire

Re: Cheap oil.

Post by cyclop »

Now let me get this right.......has someone posted that people spend £ 400-00 on replacing worn cassette and chain ?...... :shock: If so,why ?A quick scan about finds ultegra chain + cassette for £150-00,surely good enough for 99% of us ?You could,no doubt,shave a few grams off for twice the price.
User avatar
Cugel
Posts: 5430
Joined: 13 Nov 2017, 11:14am

Re: Cheap oil.

Post by Cugel »

cyclop wrote: 14 Feb 2024, 7:40am Now let me get this right.......has someone posted that people spend £ 400-00 on replacing worn cassette and chain ?...... :shock: If so,why ?A quick scan about finds ultegra chain + cassette for £150-00,surely good enough for 99% of us ?You could,no doubt,shave a few grams off for twice the price.
A major theme in this thread is that using cheap oil and the consequent fast-wearing of components that are cheap (and perhaps also nasty, especially when caked in gritty black oil) is overall cheaper than buying a bottle of much better chain lubricant. Two things seem awry here:

1) The drive train is always going to be filthy and inefficient.

2) The cheap & cheerful approach will generate a large wastage in chains and the toothed parts they run over.

It's often surprising how folk will justify their queer old preferences, eh? :-) Why go through large numbers of cheap chains and cassettes and chain rings (which will probably end up in a landfill) whilst having to put up with a filthy drivetrain and its leg tattoos as well as one that takes a significant portion of your pedalling energy just to warm it up and grind it down? Especially when a £25 bottle of summick good will last you tens or even hundreds of thousands of miles whilst similarly increasing the lifespan of your always very clean drivetrain components.
“Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence are usually the slaves of some defunct economist”.
John Maynard Keynes
Post Reply